She couldn’t sit through more than a couple minutes of the movie.
Oklahoma City resident Anna Welte quietly exited the IAO Art Gallery screening room during “Down in Number 5,” a short film about the difficulties of raising children with disabilities.
It opened the 10th annual deadCenter Film Festival on Thursday.
The movie hit too close to home. Welte’s sister has Down syndrome.
“The subject matter … isn’t talked about much,” Welte said. “And it’s not unless you deal with it on a daily basis that you have an idea or a clue how much of a struggle it is.”
deadCenter publicist Rob Crissinger said he was excited to have a film festival highlighting unique stories with a purpose. He said even the comical documentary “Biker Fox,” which premiered Thursday, follows a Tulsa bike enthusiast who cares deeply about wildlife conservation.
“It gives people a chance to talk about things,” Crissinger said. “And if you don’t like schmoozing you’ve got a great film to see.”
Roughly 2,000 deadCenter patrons Wednesday filled the streets between NW 4 and 5 on Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City to see BMX star Mat Hoffman and famed director Spike Jonze. Festival patrons Thursday packed the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s roof to its 375-person capacity while celebrating the festival’s expansion to several downtown venues.
Crissinger turned around in the lobby to examine the museum’s elevator, which was crowded with people.
“I think maybe we’ve overdone it,” Crissinger said. “The response this year has been incredible. … Look at the party.”
And it didn’t stop at the art museum.
Crissinger said he had to switch to a bigger venue for the “Biker Fox” documentary because of an overwhelming response to the film.
There were even lines outside venues.
About 50 people arrived early to wait outside the Kerr Auditorium at 123 Robert S Kerr Ave. for the showing of “8: The Mormon Proposition.”
deadCenter program director Melissa Scaramucci said she worked tirelessly and made many phone calls in order to convince people that Oklahoma City should showcase a documentary about gay marriage one week before the film was scheduled to open in wider release.
“This film is close to my heart,” Scaramucci said. “It’s not the same as seeing something in a Cineplex with friends … it’s challenging.”